31st January 2012

Advertising Space Now Available

While I am loathe to sell ad space on this site, our household income was cut in half several weeks ago, which has made keeping up with the bills and the rent a rather big challenge. We had hoped to have our new project launched by now, but there is just never enough time in the day or an end to the crises at my day job for the two of us to get everything working the way it needs to. We have thus made the decision to rent out some advertising space to keep a roof over our heads for another month or three. Read the rest of this entry »

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18th January 2012

Village Gamer News And SOPA-PIPA

As many of our readers have probably noticed by now, today is the SOPA Blackout day across the Internet.  What is that?  Well, in simple terms, it’s a day (or 12 hours for some sites) where the web admin essentially pulls their website off the Internet in protest of 2 bills currently sitting before U.S. Congress: The SOPA (or Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect Intellectual Property Act).  While these bills are sitting before the American Government, they have the power to forever change the Internet for the entire World. Read the rest of this entry »

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4th January 2012

New Events Calendar

mini-orbyThanks to a new addition by Scott, Village Gamer now has a brand new national events calendar – categorized by provinces and territories. This new events calendar is much more functional than the previous event page we used to have – but wait, that’s not all. Read the rest of this entry »

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26th November 2011

Winner of the Toshiba Canada – Village Gamer Holiday Giveaway

Village Gamer, along with Toshiba Canada, is pleased to announce that Tayo Ajayi of Toronto is the lucky winner of the Toshiba Satellite® P755-0CP 3D Laptop, which has a retail value of $1149.00 CAD. Congratulations, Tayo – a representative from Toshiba Canada will be contacting you early next week to arrange for delivery of your new laptop. Thank you to Toshiba Canada for the opportunity to partner with them for this Holiday Giveaway, and Tayo, we look forward to hearing about your experiences in the world of 3D computing.

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18th July 2011

Orby Is Going To SIGGRAPH 2011

Orby Is Going To SIGGRAPHVillage Gamer will be at SIGGRAPH 2011 in Vancouver, and in keeping with our mandate of promoting Canadian digital interactive media, technology, film and TV to the masses we invite you to take part. We will be situated in Booth 1018, please see the map below to see where Orby is camping his spot.

We are looking for sizzle pieces and trailers that we can show in the booth, along with products and swag to put in gift baskets that we’ll be offering as prizes in business card draws. If you have postcards promoting your “Made In Canada” game, software, product, studio, association or services we are offering our booth as a point of distribution. If you would like to provide bags, pens or other swag to hand out, that is welcome too.

Ideally we would like to put together promo packs to give out encouraging businesses to Outsource to Canada. Please contact me with this special event address if you would like to help us help you. Your trailers must be available for us to download in the highest playable quality possible, preferably in 1080p – our screen is a 42″ HDTV, and we want to show your trailers in their best possible light.

For Vancouver area companies – if any of you have trade show equipment such as collapsible chairs,  TV stand, portable tables (like those tall, round, bar style), etc. that we could borrow for SIGGRAPH, we would be most grateful and of course acknowledge your contribution with promotional considerations. All equipment must be easily movable, as we have to move everything in by hand without the benefit of type of dolly cart unless we hire convention centre staff to move everything in from the loading dock, which we don’t have a budget for.

In keeping with our community theme, we’re trying for a “fireside chat” type of feel to the booth, so that our “on the spot at SIGGRAPH” interviewees can site comfortably while being interviewed on camera. If you are feeling generous and would like to help us purchase our own trade show equipment, we would also be eternally grateful – at the least we  will place your logo on our site as a supporter.

As mentioned above, we will be conducting in-booth interviews with Canadian attendees, so if you would like to represent, stop by and take a seat in front of the camera. Of course, we will also be covering as much of SIGGRAPH as we possibly can, and will have a roving video camera or two so don’t be surprised if you get recognized and hi-jacked while wandering the convention hall.

Also to be officially unveiled at SIGGRAPH will be our new project. We don’t want to reveal too many details just yet, but we can tell you that it will involve community, marketing and the creative Canadian spirit that has made this industry great. We will also be introducing our new collaborative partner, Code-name Alex  – and devs, Alex has an iPad – so, if you would like people to be able to play your game or try your app while visiting our booth and have a download code to spare, please send it via the contact link above, along with the game title, studio name and info page link, with the subject line SIGGRAPH iPad. Please note – this is only for games and iPad apps  made in Canada. Each of the games or apps loaded for SIGGRAPH will be included in our table-top info catalogue for attendees to browse through.
[paypal-donation]
We also have need of two or three more volunteers to work alongside Alex and our lovely booth hostess Megan and the infamous CaveChild and assist in promoting the Canadian interactive industry. Ideally, we are looking for students, recent graduates or those already working in the creative development sector – this would include game designers, entertainment business managers, project management, marketing, or film students (a stationary video cam with an external mic for the in-booth interviews would be most awesome too).  You would need to be available for expo floor hours, which are as follows:

Tuesday, 9 August 9:30 am – 6 pm
Wednesday, 10 August 9:30 am – 6 pm
Thursday, 11 August 9:30 am – 3:30 pm

If you are interested in this volunteer position, which will include a SIGGRAPH expo pass, please contact me with your information and reason for wanting to help out with the show, with SIGGRAPH volunteer as the subject line.

Orby Marks The Spot

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1st May 2011

The Beginning Of Changes…

Our Old ServerFor those of you who do not know, some changes have taken place here at Village Gamer over the past week… the first change in a long list of upcoming surprises and updates that are due to take place here on the site.
This first change, which I am hoping many of you have noticed already, is a faster loading website.  We decided to take advantage of a brief promotion (promo code TRIPLE) put on by our data center, SoftLayer (who happen to be supporters of various conferences that have taken place here in Vancouver) and upgrade both the hardware and network to something better fitting of the upcoming changes we want to bring to our users.
Over the upcoming weeks (or months, as time may allow, though I hope for the former), we will be expanding our network of sites to encompass all things Canada.  While the first step was unfortunately to get a server from an American Company, it is located in Seattle… so at least it’s a lot closer to that border now, and close enough that should we ever feel a need, we could actually drive down and visit it (hey, I’m IT, to me a tour of a datacenter and a chance to see my server is a holiday).
So anyway, part of this new server experience was setting it up to be as close to the same configuration as the old server, to allow for as few website errors as possible.  This isn’t exactly an easy task, especially when going from a 32bit operating system to a 64bit system.  So anyway, should you experience any issues on the site, please let me know right away so that it can be fixed up.  I tried to make sure I got them all, but as always, something manages to slip through the cracks.

So you all enjoy the speedy loading site, while I try to avoid saying “oops… don’t worry Tami, I can fix this”.

And, speaking of which… don’t worry, I can fix this.

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18th June 2010

Growing Pains At Village Gamer

On behalf of the administration of Village Gamer, and especially on behalf of myself (a somewhat exhausted IT for said site), I want to issue our apologies for the recent errors our site may have been causing your browsers and RSS Readers.

It would appear that, in a moment of (I don’t know what I was thinking), a decision was made to update to the most recent version of Apache and PHP5.  This was supposed to coincide with the release of WordPress 3.0, marking a milestone for both the software we utilize here, as well as one for the site itself (1500 post).  Unfortunately, like many things that I plan out with great depth, not much in-depth planning was put into it on my part, and some hefty site issues were experienced as a result.

Over the past few hours, I think I may have localized the issues, and solved the problems.  Sadly, I will not know for sure until the next problem comes along… or, more hopefully, does not come along.

This site is going through some pretty amazing changes with its growth, and I hope that you will stick with us through them.  I promise to not make this a regular occurrence (I value occasional moments of relaxation… something that is not available when our flagship site experiences problems like it has gone through today).

We welcome any feedback you may have, and as always, will do our best to assure that we are here to be your main source for all Canadian Digital Media News.  Part of that promise involves me making sure I don’t break the site again (some of you in the Vancouver area know by now that I’m becoming famous for being the IT who says a lot of “oops… don’t worry, I can fix this… oh crap… I mean, it’ll be okay!”).
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2nd January 2010

Goodbye 2009 Hello 2010

I want to wish all of Village Gamer’s readers and friends a very happy, productive, profitable and safe New Year. To those of you who have supported the site with product copies for review and news items, thank you – your support has been greatly appreciated. To those who are still waiting on reviews to be completed – I’m working on it – The Cavechild (who has vowed to get out more in 2010) has been assisting in some areas, and the two of us are working through the backlog to get caught up while Scott is kept busy on the server side of things. I occasionally kidnap some of the volunteer staff from our other site to help out with the chores, and I have to thank them for stepping up to the plate when needed.

I certainly wasn’t prepared for the welcome and success Village Gamer has enjoyed over the past year, and while this is all very good,  I’ve found that my time and project management skills are due for a major upgrade.  These are areas which I will be seriously working on as Village Gamer continues to grow and move forward into the next decade – but I can’t talk about that yet, Orby has me under an NDA and I wouldn’t want to end up like the fireworks he’s found – I’m not really sure just what his joystick controller is attached to, so I’ll have to wait on the sharing of news about Village Gamer’s future.

In the meantime, as we look back on the turbulence of 2009, all of us saw many local studios fade to black as they closed their doors forever. While the resulting talent pool is a boon to the other remaining and opening-soon studios, it was still sad to see the game development landscape go through such a major shift. I can only hope that 2010 will bring a brighter outlook for BC’s development industry, especially as we welcome new studios and production houses – let’s all hope that the closing of studios has ended with the passing of this first decade of the 21st century.

This past year also saw the merging of New Media BC and winBC to become DigiBC. This is an event which I am still not convinced was the best move for a provincial industry association, but I will save that opinion for a later post. The digital media industry has grown in both strength and exposure in recent years – not just in Canada but globally, and as provincial governments now vie to have the biggest studios in their respective provinces, we see even more shifting of the digital landscape. This is one of those times when I wish that our country was more united and willing to work together for the betterment of all Canadians instead of just looking out for their own provincial interests. I am in agreement with those involved with the Canada 3.0 forum – we need a viable national strategy, because the times are-a-changing and Canada, while it’s a big country, isn’t really big enough to successfully maintain a hostile and competitive atmosphere among regions as the digital technology industry matures.

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27th November 2009

Village Gamer Readers’ Choice Award Nominations Open

OrbyAldergrove – Village Gamer is holding its first Readers’ Choice Canadian Video Game Awards and we’re now open for nominations. More than one Canadian property or component can be nominated on each form, as we’ve allowed for multiple text lines on the nomination form. You can make nominations for one category or all of them – the choice is yours. Help us recognize the incredible talent and creativity of the Canadian video game industry.

The rules are few and simple:

* Nominated titles must have been released between January 1 and December 31 2009.
* Nominated titles must have been developed by a Canadian studio.
* Components for a Foreign Title means levels, features, audio or world object designs made in Canada for a title by a non-Canadian developer – please name Game, Studio and Components developed.
* Nominations close at midnight on December 31 2009.
* Round One Public Voting for the Top Ten begins on January 1 2010 and closes on January 15 2010.
* Final Public Voting begins on January 16 2010 and closes January 31 2010.
* Winners will be announced on February 1 2010.

Good luck, everyone!

Readers’ Choice Canadian Video Game Awards

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19th June 2009

Village Gamer is Now on Twitter

Orby

Orby

twitterVancouver – Yes, I have succumbed to the pressure and opened an account for Village Gamer on Twitter. Our account name on Twitter is VillageGamer – you’ll recognize Orby as our avatar if you search us out over there. It might have had something to do with Noelle Hunt Bennett (Big Fish Games) threatening to force feed Twitter lessons to me at the Casual Connect Conference next month in July. If any of you know Noelle, you know she’ll follow through with that threat, so I figured that I would beat her to the punch. Sort of. If I figure out how to use it to full advantage before the conference.

Which brings me to another small update. The Women In Games Vancouver group is partnering with Women in Games International and the IGDA to present a Leadership Development Forum on Monday July 20th at Casual Connect Seattle. The Leadership Forum, which is still being finalized, will be held at The Triple Door. I have been invited to participate on one of the panels, and if the powers that be in the Passport Office so deem, I will have new and valid “government-issued travel documents” before the conference.

In other news, I can’t believe how much our readership has grown. In just the first six months of 2009 we have doubled what we did for all of last year. As of June 17th, we’ve logged just over 2 million hits on the site and our Alexa rank has gone from over 7 million at launch to a current ranking of 468 008. So, thank you to all of you who come and read the news on Village Gamer – we appreciate your time and your support.

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